Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lost Feminine Self



There is a general understanding that the “Infinite Light” extended a “line of light” into the “vacated hollow” to stimulate her with new life.
However, has anyone also considered that perhaps there’s another reason why this event took place? Maybe, the "Infinite Light" extended a "line of light" into the "vacated hollow" to become energized by connecting to His lost feminine self.


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Gendered Seasons


Summer is a manifestation of the cosmic masculine, a period of time when the warmth radiates primarily from “outside” the planet, the luminous sun.

Winter is a manifestation of the cosmic feminine, a period of time when the primary sources of warmth are from “inside” the planetary zone; firewood, fossil fuels, electricity, etc.

Spring manifests the maturing cosmic masculine. He comes skipping along, bearing sunny blooms like a frolicking adolescent male in love.

Autumn manifests the maturing cosmic feminine. She dresses herself colorfully attired in leaves, like an adolescent female nervously preparing for her first date, under lengthening moonlight.


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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Activating One End through the Other


In Jewish mystical thought, what’s outside of our awareness because it’s beyond is referred to as “surrounding light”. In contrast, what’s within our range of awareness is called, “inner light”. However, inner and surrounding lights cannot be the only descriptions of our relationship with consciousnesses, forces and energies as there is at least one more possible scenario.

There are two reasons why something may be outside our range of perception. Either it’s too high or too low! Meaning, either it’s beyond our perception or below our perception. For example, the seven known colors of the rainbow represent the human eye’s capacity to accept a particular range of light waves. By studying other creatures, science has discovered a light wave above our range, called ultraviolet light (literary, “above violet”) and a light wave below our range called infra-red (literally, “below red”). Of course, these lights above and below our range are just what's popular knowledge.  I would expect that science has by now extended knowledge of the range much further in both directions. (If they haven’t, they are unforgivingly either too asleep or too fund dependant to boldly embark on the adventure of discovering the truth!) Since from the perspective of Jewish mystical thought, these levels of light are from the inorganic the reality’s lowest realm, it’s a given that the range of light extends far upward, becoming more and more alive, as the levels ascend - eventually, just Infinite Light or Infinite Life.

As just mentioned, what is beyond perception is called, “surrounding light”. There’s a special name for what is below perception. In Hebrew it is called, “battel”, which literary means, “nullified”. An example of “nullified” is  a tiny grain of salt dissolved in an immense piping hot pot of soup or a ray of sunlight while still inside the sun, before breaking free into the atmosphere. Similarly, angels might not see our reality, despite sharing the same universe, because our reality is “nullified” in the great spiritual light of theirs.  

Both “surrounding” and “nullified” lights share similarities, as they are both outside of our perceptive range. The Ashlag school of Jewish mysticism teaches that in spiritual terms spatial notions of distance and closeness is measured by similarity and dissimilarity. Two entities which share much in common, are similar, are said to be close. In contrast, two entities which don’t share much in common, are dissimilar, are said to be distance. It’s similar to psychological closeness and distance. People who we share many similarities with, we are close to. People whom we don’t share many similarities with we are distant from. This is not a function of physical space. We can be in close relationship with someone orbiting the planet in a satellite and at the same time we can be distant from our next door neighbor.

Since both  “surrounding” and “nullified” lights share similarities, they must have a connection to each other. Their similarities entails being outside perceptive range as two ends of a symmetrical pole, too high and too low. Thus, they can share at least three similarities. Firstly, they are outside perception. Secondly, they share a pole. Thirdly, their points along the pole are equidistant from perception, i.e. they share an equality of distance from a being’s perceptive range.  

To me, this setup seems to indicate that “surrounding” and “nullified” lights are in a male and female relationship with each other. Usually, what’s male and female to each other bears a high degree of polar opposite similarity. Therefore, the more of what is “nullified” is brought into perceptive range, the more of what’s “surrounding” will also be brought into perceptive range, as male and female work in tandem. Similarly, the more of what is “surrounding” is brought into perceptive range, the more of what’s “nullified” will also be. One end can’t be truly opened without the other end being opened too. It’s magnetic!

The Lubavitcher Rebbe always played on this notion to give hope to a lowly spiritual generation of Jews, many generations away from Mount Sinai and torn asunder by the holocaust, that their very lowliness is reason to believe that they can achieve revelations of the highest spiritual lights - including, ultimately the lights of the messianic era itself.

Quite possibly this is why the Lubavitch movement has risen to such popularity in the past couple of generations. Back in pre-war Eastern Europe, Lubavitch was probably viewed as just one school of Jewish thought and practice among many. And though such themes were always present in Lubavitch thought, it took a generation reaching such a low level for such teachings to really hit home and resonate.

This also illuminates what the Talmud teaches that the Messiah will come to a generation which is either very high or very low. There’s a need for one end of the spectrum to be activated to attract the other.

The value of bringing new perceptions of reality into perceptual range is that success with such efforts actually broadens the inhabited realm. Any given realm really only goes as far as perception allows for. What the inhabitants perceive is the extent of the realm. If their band of perception broadens then their realm expands and is more filled with divine revelations. By bringing into a realm neighboring “surrounding” and “nullified” lights, the realm swells with expansion. Just as a simple example, imagine if we could see infrared and ultraviolet suddenly our whole perception of reality would vastly broaden. We’d experience ourselves as living in a broader earthly realm - when really the only thing that changed was ourselves.


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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Who Moves?


People may be wondering why is it that I focus so much on the “Tzimtzum”. Truthfully, it’s because it’s the universe’s very earliest and still enduring love story. It’s a record of the first interaction between male and female. Also, it has imprinted every male and female interaction ever since ~ whether cosmic or human.

The way the story is related, the Infinite Light withdrew uniformly in all directions. Concurrently, from a different perspective, the dispersed elements later comprising the cosmic feminine gathered together from the endlessly vast fabric of the Infinite Light.   Once gathered, there was a concentration of these elements which pulled together, tighter and tighter, contracting into a hollow sphere; inhabited by a dense afterglow of the surrounding Infinite Light.  It makes sense to me that due to this “contraction” of cosmic femininity, in English the “Tzimtzum” is often translated as, “the contraction”.

There’s a notion in the theory of relativity that when two objects move closer to or further from each other in non-gravitational space, it is unclear which item moved. Of course in gravity filled space, it is clear who moved. The one who expended energy! However, energy to move is only necessary in zones affected by gravity. In a gravity free zone, moving takes no energy. A ball thrown in space would just keep on going, going and ... No stopping! No refuel!

Under such conditions whose moving and whose stationary can’t be proven. Clearly, at least one object is moving or the distance between them would remain constant. However, which one is moving (or even both) can’t be proven. Either object’s status as stationary or moving blur!

If such relativity of motion applies to physical space, how much more so beyond physical space. So who moved away from whom? Did the Infinite Light withdraw outward from the empty hollow (inhabited by the afterglow) or did the empty hollow withdraw from the Infinite Light by gathering, concentrating and contracting into the cosmic feminine? It’s not really clear.

Though commonly held that the Infinite Light withdrew, it should be equally correct to claim that the cosmic feminine, while forming, did the moving as she consolidated and contracted; like the moon in the Midrashic story diminishing herself. In this scenario, it only appeared from her perspective that the Infinite Light withdrew - as both growth and shrinkage are kinds of motion.

It actually makes more sense to me that it was the material of empty hollow which did the moving; rather than the Infinite Light. Here’s why? As it’s stirred by lack, movement is a function of being finite - not Infinite. The more finite, the more lacking. Therefore, in weighing between the Infinite Light and the empty hollow, it makes sense that the more finite of the two would be the one to be in motion;  i.e. the empty hollow (along with the contained afterglow).

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Withdrawal or Contraction?


For those who have studied the story of the "Tzimtzum" from Lurianic Kabbalah, I have always wondered why the "Tzimtzum" is often translated as "the contraction". I would have expected that the word "withdrawal" would have been a more idiomatically apt description of the event.

Today, it dawned on me that besides "contraction" being a better literal translation, it also points to an important aspect of the event. The "Tzimtzum" didn't simply happen by the Infinite Light withdrawing from a space. It happened via a polarization of the earliest expression of cosmic masculine and feminine.

During this polarization, the components of the cosmic feminine gathered together from out of the fabric of the Infinite Light and then "contracted", forming the "Reshimu" or the "afterglow". (It is misleading to think of the newly formed area as hollow or empty. That was only in a very relative sense.)

So it is the "contraction" of the cosmic feminine which was a very key driving force behind the event - making the term "contraction" far more idiomatically correct than I initially thought.

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The Difference


The difference between the blessings of our current lives and those of the messianic era is like the difference between an exiled princess receiving delivered packages of royal food from her parents, often compromised by the circumstances of delivery, and her enjoying fresh delicious foods at her parents' table.


Sufficiency


Please God grant me a sufficiency of my own portion. Whatever I think I lack isn't found in someone else's portion, but in what is yet to be revealed of my own.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Answer Births Question


Answer births question,
 As water births thirst.

Had the cosmos lacked water,
 It would lack thirst too.

So the presence of questions,
 Is evidence of answers.

As soul is to body,
 So is answer to question.

The birth of body,
 Is in separation from soul.

The birth of question,
 Is in separation from answer.

Why’s birth in separation,
 Just to reunite what was?

What’s gained by ripping,
 Only to repaste what was?

Along the seams of torn,
 Buds a new relationship.

It’s for this preciousness,
 That all seams are born.

In struggling with question,
 The answer comes so alive;

Not as passive information,
 But as fresh vivid awareness,

That tingles the spine,
 Rouses celebration in heart,

With flute, guitar n’ drums,
 As the singer does her part.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Big Question


Welcome “Big Question”,
 Surprised I yearn for you;

Though not pretty,
 But hard, black n’ rough?

Yes, you're an ugly coal,
 So difficult to set alight.

My soul struggles n’ sweats,
 Bit by bit to consume you.

You resist her efforts so,
 Arousing her with appetites.

Finally ... her flame catches,
 Making her far more luminous;

As what was once coal,
 Slowly transforms into soul.

She becomes bigger, brighter,
 Illuminating ever farther reaches.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Global Love Fire


The world is on fire,
  Only it doesn’t yet know.

It is burning with love,
  Yet secret recesses obscure.

There’s love in the air,
  I feel it, but can’t explain it.

I smell it in my soul,
 Yet know not its source.

This fire doesn’t destroy,
  It’s a fire of healing n’ warmth.

As you conflagrate,
  You’ll become more alive.

You’ll burn others too,
  As your aura radiates theirs.

Don’t be afraid of fire,
 When it’s the kind we all want.

We all want a world,
  Filled with love and kindness.

Bask in the fire n’ share,
  Spread it around n’ care.


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Sunday, October 30, 2016

R U @ Home?


Are you at home ...

... On planet earth,
... On your continent,
... In your country,
... In your neighborhood,
... In your community,
... In your living space,
... In your friendship circle,
... In your family,
... In your faith n' beliefs,
... In your skin,
... In your heart?

Home is multi-layered,
Zones where you feel safe.

It's where you ...

... Can let down your hair,
... N' let out your identity.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Home


I thought I hired a domestic help professional. But when I entered my front door the other evening, I discovered that I actually hired a domestic artist.  She reimagined my living space and that inspires me to do so as well.  In small ways, I find myself almost automatically tidying up along the pattern she set, taking it baby steps to advance her vision for my living space even further.  

In the beginning of Genesis we read about how the Creator spent six days building a home for humanity. He imagined and implemented a beautiful living space for us called the Garden of Eden. He simply requested that Adam and Eve tidy up a small remaining corner of their home along the pattern He already set by not eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; thereby, making their home into even more of a home. Of course the first couple did not obey and their home suddenly turned very messy - into even less of a home, which is the world we see around us.

Since the dawn of humanity, we have been charged with the mission of making the world into our home along the patterns already set by our Creator. Paradise is already such a home. It has no untidy patches. However, being earthlings means that our work is to turn planet earth into such a home.

The conclusion of a certain significant phase of our work will usher in the beginning of the messianic era. Since the messianic era itself is multi-phased, as we will travel further along its timeline, earth will turn more and more into home. Quite possibly, it will one day turn into a home for its animal population as well; as seems indicated by the Prophet Isaiah.    

There is a mystical teaching that our real efforts entail transforming the earth into a home for the Creator. However, what better way is there to make the earth into His home than to make it into our home? The Creator is beyond the need for a home. He rejoices in giving! His happiness is the happiness He gives His creations. When His creations are at home in His world, so is He. Yes, He rejoices in how we feel.

Shabbat is a small taste of this upcoming era. Shabbat is all about settling into a zone we call, "Home". We work six days to prepare our homes, becoming domestic artists, so that one day a week we can experience our home in a more ideal state; enjoying home life as it is meant to be. In this sacred space, people focus on each other and easily bond without outside distractions - yes, heart to heart. Each can make a home in his/her own heart for the other. It’s safe space and sacred space for relationships to form and grow. Here people love and feel loved.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Simchat Torah


Earlier today in a Borough Park Chabad Synagogue, Rabbi Yitzchak Reitport delivered an address which reached to the core of what the festival of Simchat Torah is all about.

Since Simchat Torah is about rejoicing and dancing with the Torah scrolls, he began with a question, "Why don't we celebrate this festival in late Spring on the anniversary of the day when God's revelation descended on Mount Sinai and He uttered the Ten Commandments?"

Rabbi Reitport continued by quoting well established Jewish tradition that after the Ten Commandments were uttered, Moses stayed up on the mountain another 40 days to receive the Tablets. He descended to the unfortunate incident of the golden calf and shattered the Tablets. Then he spent the next 40 days in prayer to reconcile God and the Jewish people. Next, he ascended for another 40 days to receive the second set of Tablets and descended with them on Yom Kippur (yes, that was our very first Yom Kippur).

Since Yom Kippur is a day of tremendous awe, lighthearted celebration is out of character. Our lighthearted celebration begins soon after Yom Kippur, with the festival of Succot, which culminates in Simchat Torah. So essentially, on Simchat Torah we celebrate the completion of the whole process of receiving the Ten Commandments.

There was a fundamental difference between the first and second set of Tablets. Had the golden calf not been built, reality would have been fundamentally different and we would have only needed the written Torah scroll for guidance, without the aid of an oral explanatory tradition. Hence, the first Tablets only came with the written part of our tradition.

The second Tablets came with both written Torah and an accompanying oral explanatory tradition. The nature of the oral explanatory tradition is that it requires a lot of mental effort; ponderous study, discussion and interpretation. Here the mind of flesh and soul meets the Divine Mind in sublime union.

Had we just had the first Tablets, we would have been missing out on the part of the Torah which lends itself to this special union with the Creator's Mind; as everything would have simply been clear procedure without any need to resort to ponderous efforts. So what we truly celebrate on Simchat Torah is that special union with the Divine Mind which only an oral explanatory tradition allows for.

Rabbi Reitport added that the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe stated that the reason for why we recite the "Shecheyanu" blessing on Simchat Torah (a blessing normally reserved for new joyous events) is because of this special union with the Divine Mind which is renewed at this time of the year.

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From Soul to Sole


There was a woman,
 I loved from soul to sole.

Her spirit shined,
As the high noon sun.

Her hair radiated,
Reddish golden rays.

As the sun's orbit,
She traveled the world.

She could speak of,
Cultures beneath her gaze.

She understood,
Language within language;

Utterances of mind,
 Shadowed by mouth.

She moved me with,
Her song within songs.

I yearned for my days,
To be spent by her fire;

Being endlessly warmed,
In full spectrumed joyous exchange.

Alas, she didn't want me,
I still don't fully know why.

I implored n' begged,
"Who will love you soul to sole?"

Silence...
Businesslike silence.

I still know not her answer,
Even if I did, it can't satisfy me.

I only take satisfaction,
That this was God's kind plan;

Along the forested path,
To discover my destined one.

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Passion!


I see that I have ...
...Needs,
...Wants,
...Goals,
...Curiosities,
...Interests.

But do I have a ...
...Passions?

I used to!
...Hiding?

You whoooo!
...It's safe to come out.

You are sorely missed.
...Where have we lost touch?

Your fleeting absence ...
 ...Is much, much too long...

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